The phrase, you are what you eat, is one of the oldest in the book, yet remains one of the truer adages that has stuck with people over the years. While this is by no means a literal phrase, any Brampton physiotherapist will be able to tell you that it’s certainly true in some capacity. People who achieve prime physical shape, athletes, runners or even just health conscious individuals know that food and diet are two of the most important things to monitor on the road to wellness: without them, all of the exercise in the world won’t be able to keep you fit.
A basic healthy lifestyle starts with a basic diet and a basic diet starts with consumption awareness. Simply stated, knowing what’s good or bad about the foods you’re consuming is the first step to making healthy eating decisions. For example, we wouldn’t look twice at choosing an iced tea over any soft drink for our lunchtime beverage, but did you know that in many cases, the ice tea will actually contain more sugar than the soft drink? Knowing what you’re consuming starts by paying attention to the nutritional facts label that accompanies nearly every food product out there.
Once you’re more aware and begin to check nutritional facts, the question then becomes, what are you looking for. Your Brampton physiotherapist will likely explain that there are a few different, key items to look for: macronutrients, sugars and sodium. There are three main macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates and protein. These three macronutrients are the big items that our bodies need to function from day to day and knowing how much of each you’re taking in will help you to determine where your current diet stands. Different people require different macronutrients to supplement their diets, so consulting a Brampton physiotherapist on your specific needs can actually help you to determine the right diet for you.
As mentioned, sugars and sodium are also things to watch out for in your diet because they have the potential to do the most harm if imbalanced. For example, extreme intake of sugar can lead to a high glycemic index, which is associated with diabetes and other conditions. High sodium intake can lead to issues with blood pressure and heart health, making it all the more critical to control your salt and sugar levels daily. Staying away from soft drinks, extremely salty foods and opting for low sodium or naturally sweetened foods is a good way to stay on top of your intake on these two substances.
Finally, portion control is a key piece of the puzzle. Just because a food has 1/10 of the calories doesn’t mean you’re able to eat six of it and still be below a certain calorie level! Eat smart and eat in smaller portions, even if this means eating more throughout the day. Your body will digest food as it’s taken in, allowing you to process it faster and more effectively. In the end, you’ll be doing your body a service by eating better and in lower quantities.